Lincoln's Views on Slavery

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
would the abolitionists have been so extreme as to secede a few States from the Union?

I doubt it. Why would they? Slavery had already been abolished in most of the North, after all.
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Were the abolitionists simply the Northern version of the Fire-Eaters intent on their own righteous agenda regardless of what that meant for the rest of the country?


To my mind, Not really. Both extremes had varying shades of beliefs and ardor for the cause(it varied from person to person, over time). But All fire-eaters were united in the belief in secession as being the final answer; but not all or even a majority, of abolitionists were united as to the final answer to slavery., i.e., there were many more fire-eaters willing to sacrifice the Union rather than slavery, than there were abolitionists willing to make the same sacrfice, for abolition.
 

James B White

Captain
Honored Fallen Comrade
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
would the abolitionists have been so extreme as to secede a few States from the Union?
I doubt it. Why would they? Slavery had already been abolished in most of the North, after all.

I doubt they would have actually got enough to support to do it, but the reasons were clear enough. Secession would instantly create a country without slavery. William Lloyd Garrison would probably be the man leading the charge, since he had been advocating secession for years. Here's what he was saying in 1861:

"What, then, ought to be done? The people of the North should recognize the fact that THE UNION IS DISSOLVED, and act accordingly. They should see, in the madness of the South, the hand of God, liberating them from 'a covenant with death and an agreement with hell,' made in a time of terrible peril, and without a concpetion of its inevitable consequences... Now, then, let there be a CONVENTION OF THE FREE STATES called to organize an independent government on free and just principles; and let them say to the slave States--'Though you are without excuse for your treasonable conduct, depart in peace!... Let the line be drawn between us where free institutions end and slave institutions begin!"
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
"What, then, ought to be done? The people of the North should recognize the fact that THE UNION IS DISSOLVED, and act accordingly. They should see, in the madness of the South, the hand of God, liberating them from 'a covenant with death and an agreement with hell,' made in a time of terrible peril, and without a concpetion of its inevitable consequences... Now, then, let there be a CONVENTION OF THE FREE STATES called to organize an independent government on free and just principles; and let them say to the slave States--'Though you are without excuse for your treasonable conduct, depart in peace!... Let the line be drawn between us where free institutions end and slave institutions begin!"


The most salient difference between a Yancey and a Garrison, was the influence each had on their sections gov'ts at both the local and National levels.
Garrison was the odd-man out of northern politics, Yancey moved in the highest circles of southern politics.


P.S. I am not saying that a Garrison did not have great influence in the north, just that he wielded much less power to affect the political actions of his section, than did a Yancey.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
One thing to remember about the abolition movement is that there were always some more radical than Garrison. He and many others thought that slave owners could be persuaded to give up their slaves. As the years went by with limited success, he and others of his ilk became more strident, but was still relying on persuasion.

Not all abolitionists were foaming at the mouth. And not all secessionists were slavering maniacs. It makes for some interesting parallels today. (But we still do it the same way. Paint the opposition as fanatics.)
 

Freddy

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Dec 19, 2006
Location
Worcester, MA
Lincoln disliked slavery but was not an abolitionist.
Lincoln acknowledged that slavery was legal in the US.
Lincoln was a colonizationist until 1863 or so, but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln did not believe that Blacks should fight but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln believed the races could not live together in peace, but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln realized an amendment was needed to abolish slavery.

Abolitionists did not believe in equality of the races, but members of Anti-slavery societies did.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
Lincoln disliked slavery but was not an abolitionist.
Lincoln acknowledged that slavery was legal in the US.
Lincoln was a colonizationist until 1863 or so, but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln did not believe that Blacks should fight but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln believed the races could not live together in peace, but Douglass changed his mind.
Lincoln realized an amendment was needed to abolish slavery.

Abolitionists did not believe in equality of the races, but members of Anti-slavery societies did.
This change of bent is most significant. Lincoln believed that blacks would never get fair treatment and ought to create a separate society. It was, I think, the basis of the "root hog, or die" statement. At that point, he gave up on colonization and meant that, if that was what the black population wanted, that was what they would have to live with.
 

clara_barton

Private
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
I doubt they would have actually got enough to support to do it, but the reasons were clear enough. Secession would instantly create a country without slavery. William Lloyd Garrison would probably be the man leading the charge, since he had been advocating secession for years. Here's what he was saying in 1861:

"What, then, ought to be done? The people of the North should recognize the fact that THE UNION IS DISSOLVED, and act accordingly. They should see, in the madness of the South, the hand of God, liberating them from 'a covenant with death and an agreement with hell,' made in a time of terrible peril, and without a concpetion of its inevitable consequences... Now, then, let there be a CONVENTION OF THE FREE STATES called to organize an independent government on free and just principles; and let them say to the slave States--'Though you are without excuse for your treasonable conduct, depart in peace!... Let the line be drawn between us where free institutions end and slave institutions begin!"

Thank you, James B White, for this quote from William Lloyd Garrison. It is quite what I had in mind in my comment.

My propensity many times is to point my finger at the other guy(s) and do a handy job of taking their inventory; quite forgetting that when I do that, I have 3 fingers pointing back at me.

As ole has rightly and aptly pointed out "we paint the opposition as fanatics". As much as I abhor the choice of secession by the South spurred in large part by the extremists pulling the center, I have to temper that with the knowledge that there were extremists (fanatics) in the North (some abolitionists) pulling the center there, as well.

So, here's the genius of Lincoln, in his succinct and unparalleled, beautiful use of the English language telling all that he will hold the 'center' (the Union) against both extremes ... and, against his own private wishes. Gosh, I love Lincoln.
 

Drew

Major
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
So, here's the genius of Lincoln, in his succinct and unparalleled, beautiful use of the English language telling all that he will hold the 'center' (the Union) against both extremes ... and, against his own private wishes. Gosh, I love Lincoln.

Yep, that's what he 'done. Far be it from me to stir the pot, but the president we inaugurated 100 years after Lincoln's first liked to quote Dante (or Virgil, or somebody) as follows:

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality."

Do the ends justify the means? :devil:
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Yep, that's what he 'done. Far be it from me to stir the pot, but the president we inaugurated 100 years after Lincoln's first liked to quote Dante (or Virgil, or somebody) as follows:
"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality."
Do the ends justify the means? :devil:


Morality says no, but politics says yes, i.e., it depends upon the morality of the politician(s)
 

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Lincoln's Peoria Speech concerning slavery is very interesting, wherein makes the case that Slavery in America was acceptable, only to the extent that there was assurance that it was distinctly on a road to eventual extinction.
That Without that assurance, slavery would be unacceptable.
 
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